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Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro 35mm Primes
Includes reviews for the new "DG" digital SLR version of the lens. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro delivers superb, distortion-free images throughout its broad focus range, from infinity telephoto to 1:1 (life-size) macro, as close as 12.3" without accessories. This new medium telephoto macro lens employs a new design concept for digital SLR cameras. Its new lens power layout produces an excellent optical performance and also reduces flare and ghost. This new lens is designed to reduce the influence of harmful light caused by reflections from the digital image sensor. Macro 105mm F2.8 EX DG allows greater working distance between the lens and subject. High contrast and excellent image quality are made possible in all shooting ranges. This macro lens is ideal for digital SLR cameras as well as film SLR cameras.
Submitted by danic a Casual
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2009
Strengths: * Bokeh
* Solid construction
Weaknesses: If I have to label a weakness, I'd say auto focus, but I simply don't use it.
After shooting with Extension tubes and normal lenses, I decided to spend some money and get a dedicated macro lens. It was a toss-up between the Tamron 90mm and Sigma 105mm. What swayed me in the end was the extra 15mm. Whilst the Tamron is supposed to be one of the sharpest lenses out there, this lens is razor sharp as well.
I bought my lens second hand, in reasonable condition. My initial thoughts were:
* well constructed
* good finish
* whats with the clutch mechanism?
* why a metal hood?
I have heard the AF is very noisy, and now I know how noisy AF is with this lens. VERY NOISY. I haven't turned it to AF since.
Manually adjusting focus is easy, and it adjusts smoothly. It has pleasing bokeh, and the detail it renders is beautiful.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $550.00
Purchased At: E-Bay
Similar Products Used: None
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by Louie Aguinaldo a Professional
Date Reviewed: June 27, 2008
Strengths: It wasn't with me long enough to discover any strength. Since it was defective, I had to send it back
Weaknesses: Severe lens flare? Or at least a severe orange glow right in the center whenever the subject or background had white.
Unfortunately, my experience with this lens led me to returning it within a few days. No matter what I photographed, as long as there was white in the background, there would be a severe orange glow covering a large circular area in the center. The only thing I could think of is that it was some severe lens flare. Of course, I tried all types of lighting. I even tried feathered lighting wherein no direct light hit the scene and the only source of light was a very very diffused light source far far behind me. Still the glow was there. The glow would not appear if the subject and background I was shooting was dark. But as long as there was a significant amount of white a really big orange glow would appear.
I even tried shooting the black lens cap leaning on a white illustration board and filled most of the frame with it. I only had white in the corners. Still the orange circular glow was there. So I called the Sigma dealer, they even went to my studio and checked it out. They couldn't explain it. So it went back. Plus the lens was underexposing the scene. I use a Sekonic meter to measure the ambient light, and even if I set the camera to the recommended exposure settings, the image would be significantly darker.
I may have had a bad unit that doesn't represent the whole line of these lenses, but I seem to have had a bad streak of luck with Sigma lenses. I have purchased a total of 4 Sigma lenses, I got rid of 3 of them by sending them back or selling them due to various issues. I only kept one. Apparently, there seems to be some quality control issues. So I ended up with more reliable Canon lenses instead.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: Canon 100mm macro
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by hoasjoe a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2008
Strengths: Good value for money. Compared to the higher rated Sigma 70, you pay a bit more money but you get a more working distance.
Very compact size of just 457g / 16.1oz. filter diameter 58. Easy to put in a small travel bag. The S-70 has higher rating but heavier at 525g / 18.5oz & filter size 76.
Did compare with the Nikon 105 equivalent with Vibration Reduction. You're paying almost twice the money for a heavier lens. If you use a Sony Alpha the VR feature is on the body so you wouldn't need a heavy lens. For about the same money as a N-105 you can move up to a S-150 macro which is heavier.
Good lens selections: 50, 70, 105, 150, 180. Tamron has only a 90.
Weaknesses: As expected, Sigma body finish is not as good as Nikon but otherwise not a major concern.
Mounted on Nikon D70s. Macro focus doesn't work well on AF. Faster to switch to MF.
Wanted a dedicated lens for macro instead of using a standard zoom with close-up filters.
Had a Sigma 28-70 f3.5-5.6 1:2 macro. The photo isn't bad but the lens construction was as cheap as the price paid. To do close focusing precisely often require switching off the AF. The focus knob was very loose and moved around when AF is not on.
This is the first macro lens bought and so far quite satisfied with the results. Although the lens is not an award winner as the newer Sigma 70 & the 150, it is a trade off between price, minimum focus distance & weight.
Will be trying some flower and insect pics later in the year...
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $480.00
Purchased At: Downtown Camera, Tor
Similar Products Used: Nikon 60 & 105, Sigma 70 & 105, Tamron 90.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Justin a Beginner
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2007
Strengths: Unbelievably clear shots at 24" or as little as 2". Awesome magnification. Auto focus works very well at 3"+. Great price tag! I see such great detail that I see things in the photos that I don't even see with my eyes.
Weaknesses: None that I have found.
This lens is well worth the price! I decided to get this lens because of all the rave reviews I saw online. I have an Olympus E-500 so it was very tricky finding this lens in a four-thirds mount but I finally found it on amazon.com (only 3 left) and paid $409.00 for it. This lens far exceeded my expectations in every way! My mother has a 90mm Tamron macro lens that she paid $550+ for and this lens blows it out of the water! You can get incredibly sharp detail of the smallest insects and flowers. I see things in the photos that I couldn't even see with my naked eye. It is also very nice because you don't necessarily have to be right on top of whatever you want to take pictures of, you can be up to 2 feet away and still fill up the whole frame. AWESOME! Don't hesitate, but it today!
Here are some shots I took with this lens:
You can also go to www.djphina.com to view more pictures.
Duration Product Used: 0-1 years
Price Paid: $409.00
Purchased At: Amazon.com
Similar Products Used: Tamron 90mm
Type of photography: People
Submitted by VinnyP! a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 5, 2006
Strengths: Image quality, build quality large manual focusing ring, value for money.
Weaknesses: Auto focus, lens hood is awkward, extends a long way when focusing close up.
First up I am not a macro photographer, but occasionally I had wished I had a Macro lens. I looked at the reviews like you are doing here and thought this would fit the ticket in bangs per buck. I am not disappointed. It's good where it counts. Picture quality is very good, sharp across the image especially once it's stopped down. (In a macro that's where you will be anyway most of the time I'd suggest). There are upteen lens charts about taken with this you can find and it's a good performer optically. It has a good operating distance for me but the length it extends could be disconserting. It's not an HSM lens and AF can be pretty slow, it improves a lot if you lock it either in Macro or as a short tele with the body mounted switch. I wouldn't use it like that unless it was a grab whilst shooting macro. I am a fan of Sigma but this one seems a little odd, there is no AF/manual switch just pull push on the (very large) focusing ring to engage it. It does handle well and manual focus is well catered for. It is well built with the love it loath it EX finish. The lens hood is screw in, non reversible, and round. It also prevents the lens cap being in place when the hood is attched. The good news is that the hood is threaded for fiters so you can just get a 67mm cap to keep on there.
I can't compare this to any other macro lenses because it's the first one I have owned in years of photography. All I can say is any deficiencies in my pictures would not be down to the image quality. I am sure the 150 and 180 HSM lenses are better for many users, but if like me you want an occasional macro this is a good choice. Like most people with a macro I tend to pre-focus manually for the magnification I want then move back and forth until it snaps into focus. Used like this it performs very well. It would also double as short tele in a pinch but it's far from ideal for that. It's well made and comes with the odd (for Sigma) hood and a good quality pouch.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $170.00
Type of photography: Outdoor
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